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The Strange Death Of Montague John Druitt

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  • The Strange Death Of Montague John Druitt

    Whether you consider Druitt as a viable suspect or not it’s a fact that the events surrounding his death hold more than their fair share of mystery. There are so many unanswered questions and examples of strange behaviour that we don’t particularly need to touch on the question of Druitt as a candidate. Posters on here will be pretty familiar with the main events but some maybe a little rusty if they haven’t read anything Druitt-related for a while so I’ll begin the thread with a very brief timeline.

    30th Nov - Druitt is dismissed by George Valentine at the Blackheath School.

    11th Dec - An unnamed ‘friend’ contacts Monty’s brother William to say that he hadn’t been seen for over a week.

    30th Dec - William arrived in London and has Monty’s property searched. He also discovers Monty’s sacking.

    31st Dec - Monty’s body is pulled from the Thames.

    2nd Jan - The Inquest is held.

    *****

    Its difficult to see why William lies at The Inquest about Monty having no other relatives. Was it shame? At the same Inquest he had no problem mentioning his mothers insanity and incarceration. Also in The Hampshire Advertiser (12th Jan) the report on Monty’s funeral mentions five Druitt’s in attendance. As Monty lived and worked and played cricket in London surely William would have realised the possibility of this report making the London Press?

    Why wasn’t the ‘friend’ who contacted William ever named?

    William was informed on Dec 11th that Monty hadn’t been seen for a week so why did it take William 19 days to get to London? If Monty’s friend was so concerned about his disappearance to contact William then surely he would have made at least some effort to find Monty himself? Monty worked at Kings Bench Walk and the school and lived at the school. It’s unthinkable that the ‘friend’ wouldn’t have tried both in which case he’d have learned of Monty sacking ( or if the school was being diplomatic for some reason then he’d have at least learned that Monty no longer worked there.) William didn’t discover this fact until he arrived in London though. If he’d have learned about Monty’s sacking on the 11th then surely this would have hastened his arrival?

    Why had Monty bought a return train ticket on Dec 1st but only used the Charing Cross to Hammersmith part?

    It was reported that “Witness (William) had the property of the deceased searched where he resided.” Monty resided at the school so if that was where the search took place why was Monty’s property still there a 19 days after his dismissal? He may have been staying at Kings Bench Walk of course. But if William was in London why did he get someone else to search Monty’s property? Why not do it himself? If the search had taken place earlier (for eg if William had responded to the ‘friend’ and asked him to search his room) why didn’t the friend discover the suicide note?

    Enough questions to be going on with.
    Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 10-13-2020, 11:00 AM.
    Regards

    Herlock




    “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
    “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
    “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
    “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
    “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

  • #2
    Johnathan's new book only took four days to arrive, proceeding through it at a leisurely pace....

    Good questions!

    It's not difficult to imagine the 'friend' who knew both Monty & William was one of a professional acquaintance at K.B.W, if I recall a name has been put forward. This might explain why the friend was not aware of the school, or if he was then which school?, or had no contact name to pursue his own inquiries?
    - William's legal commitments may have delayed his leaving Bournemouth for a day or two but I suspect the date "30 December" is a misprint for "30 November", the date of his dismissal - per Sugden.
    - William may have had to leave the searching of his brother's rooms to school staff, it being private property, but I would suspect he was allowed to be present.
    - Dec. 11th was a Tuesday, so it appears Druitt was missed for a week, the previous Tuesday. Or more likely Druitt had not shown up on the Monday morning (3rd?) at his chambers in K.B.W. The return ticket was dated 1st (Sat), and he was dismissed the day before - Friday 30th Nov.
    So we have a rudimentary timeline for that weekend.

    What still intrigues me is whether the Manor House Asylum at Chiswick had any role to play in Druitt's suicide story, the family who ran the place also being of close association with the Druitt family.
    Regards, Jon S.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
      Its difficult to see why William lies at The Inquest about Monty having no other relatives.
      Hi Herlock,

      Is it at all possible that there was a misunderstanding and William meant he was the only relative of Monty's present at the inquest?

      I agree that it's difficult to see why he would lie, if it could easily be shown to be untrue.

      Love,

      Caz
      X
      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by caz View Post

        Hi Herlock,

        Is it at all possible that there was a misunderstanding and William meant he was the only relative of Monty's present at the inquest?

        I agree that it's difficult to see why he would lie, if it could easily be shown to be untrue.

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        Hi Caz,

        Interesting suggestion. Personally I wouldn’t have thought so though. In the report on the Inquest in the Acton, Chiswick and Turnham Green Gazette it says “He had no other relative” immediately after the line “His Mother became insane in July last.” So it looks to me like William was telling them that there was only Ann and William left?
        Regards

        Herlock




        “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
        “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
        “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
        “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
        “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
          Johnathan's new book only took four days to arrive, proceeding through it at a leisurely pace....

          Good questions!

          It's not difficult to imagine the 'friend' who knew both Monty & William was one of a professional acquaintance at K.B.W, if I recall a name has been put forward. This might explain why the friend was not aware of the school, or if he was then which school?, or had no contact name to pursue his own inquiries?
          - William's legal commitments may have delayed his leaving Bournemouth for a day or two but I suspect the date "30 December" is a misprint for "30 November", the date of his dismissal - per Sugden.
          - William may have had to leave the searching of his brother's rooms to school staff, it being private property, but I would suspect he was allowed to be present.
          - Dec. 11th was a Tuesday, so it appears Druitt was missed for a week, the previous Tuesday. Or more likely Druitt had not shown up on the Monday morning (3rd?) at his chambers in K.B.W. The return ticket was dated 1st (Sat), and he was dismissed the day before - Friday 30th Nov.
          So we have a rudimentary timeline for that weekend.

          What still intrigues me is whether the Manor House Asylum at Chiswick had any role to play in Druitt's suicide story, the family who ran the place also being of close association with the Druitt family.
          Hi Wick, I was wondering if this thread was dead before it begun but I thought that if anyone would post it would be yourself or Roger

          On the possible confusion of the 30th yes I should have recalled that it could easily have been a misprint and that it makes more sense than a gap of 19 days which would have been suspiciously sluggish.

          Was the ‘friend’ that you alluded to John Henry Lonsdale? I can’t recall him being named in a book but I could easily be mistaken or perhaps someone suggested it on here or over at Howard’s place. I don’t think that it’s proven that they knew each other but it’s a definite possibility with no stretch of the imagination required. At the time of Monty’s death he’d taken up his position at Wimborne Minster so perhaps, as he was near to Monty’s family someone from KBW contacted him to make enquires in Wimborne and perhaps to go and see William? Would his position have meant that, with Monty’s suicide, he didn’t want his name mentioned at the Inquest?

          You're timeline certainly adds up. David Anderson in Blood Harvest says that Monty was last seen on the 3rd. He doesn’t say who by though? I suppose that the likely answer is that someone took ‘over a week’ to mean 8 days and worked back from the 11th?

          Its difficult to avoid considering the possibility of a connection with The Manor House Asylum and the Tukes. Has anyone ever come up with another reason for the train ticket to Hammersmith on that Saturday?

          I don't know what anyone else thinks but I think that it’s at least a possibility that Monty was murdered?
          Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 10-14-2020, 03:44 PM.
          Regards

          Herlock




          “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
          “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
          “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
          “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
          “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post



            I don't know what anyone else thinks but I think that it’s at least a possibility that Monty was murdered?
            Considering the farewell letter, no marks of injury and the stones in his pocket, it’s difficult to accept that possibility.
            Last edited by Kattrup; 10-14-2020, 04:01 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

              Considering the farewell letter, no marks of injury and the stones in his pocket, it’s difficult to accept that possibility.
              True of course but the letter might have been written by William for example. He could have been drugged and had stones put in his pocket. Is it possible that the condition of the body after so long in the water might have hidden a mark or two?

              Im certainly not saying that he was murdered. Just an “is it possible?”
              Regards

              Herlock




              “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
              “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
              “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
              “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
              “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

              Comment


              • #8
                In the 5th January newspaper report it states that the note was found when his things were found “..where he resided.” Leighton takes this to have meant the school. If this was the case then we would have to ask why Monty’s possessions were still at the school around a fortnight after he’d been dismissed? It’s possible of course that after being sacked he was staying elsewhere. KBW for example?
                Regards

                Herlock




                “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
                “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
                “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
                “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
                “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I seem to recall the press reports being so vague as to permit the question, how many letters are we talking about, one or two?
                  Regards, Jon S.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                    I seem to recall the press reports being so vague as to permit the question, how many letters are we talking about, one or two?
                    I don’t have any books with me to check at the moment Wick but yes I’m pretty sure that there was mention of letters addressed to William and George Valentine which doesn’t help clarity.

                    There were other discrepancies like the Gazette saying ‘no papers or letters were found on the body’ and the Independent saying ‘certain papers found on the body.’ I think that it’s been assumed that the ‘papers’ named by the Independent were the cheques.

                    Also so why wasn’t it ascertained who was the last person to have seen Monty alive?

                    Also I’ve always thought it a bit strange that it was said that Monty’s “...things had been searched where he resided.” I might be overthinking this bit but it sounds as if they didn’t want the place where he had been living mentioning. There was also no mention of George Valentine at the Inquest.
                    Regards

                    Herlock




                    “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
                    “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
                    “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
                    “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
                    “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's been over two decades since I rode a train in London, but it doesn't look like one can travel directly from Charing Cross Underground to Hammersmith nowadays. There's not a line that has both stops. So that ticket doesn't make sense.

                      I think what is being called 'Charing Cross' at the inquest is was what is now called Embankment. The best stop on the South Eastern line for Druitt to reach KBW would have been Cannon Street. So, assuming Druitt started his last trip from Blackheath, he must have blown past his usual stop, and stepped off the train at Charing Cross (Embankment) and then transferred to a train that went to Hammersmith. Which would suggest that he had no desire to make one final curtain call at chambers.

                      On the other hand, he could have simply walked to the Embankment from KBW and bought the ticket to Hammersmith.

                      So it doesn't really tell us a damned thing. But the suicide note was supposedly left at Blackheath, so it seems strange that he would go to KBW and tidy up his desk before plunging in the Thames in the middle of the winter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        hey folks-I have a stupid question: which family member leaked they thought he was the ripper?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
                          hey folks-I have a stupid question: which family member leaked they thought he was the ripper?
                          No one knows Abby. Jonathan Hainsworth believes that Monty might have confessed to his cousin The Reverend Charles Druitt who in turn told a fellow vicar, and his best friend, The Reverend Arthur Du Boulay-Hill. A letter was sent to The Daily Mail stating that a vicar knew the identity of JTR. The story was titled The Whitechurch Murders which seems strange. Charles Druitt’s parish was also known as Whitechurch.

                          Jon Hainsworth also suggests that the woman mentioned in the Crawford Letter might have been Isabella Druitt. There’s no proof of this of course but in a letter to a family member in November she tells of visiting Cavendish Square which is where Crawford lived.

                          It might have been his brother William of course. Druitt had stayed with him overnight in Bournemouth at the end of October.

                          Then of course there’s Colonel Vivian Majendie who was one of Mac’s best friends. He was related to the Druitt’s by marriage so he might have heard from the family and then told Macnaghten.

                          So basically there are candidates Abby but no proof against any. Someone told Macnaghten though. It wasnt me.
                          Regards

                          Herlock




                          “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
                          “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
                          “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
                          “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
                          “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                            It's been over two decades since I rode a train in London, but it doesn't look like one can travel directly from Charing Cross Underground to Hammersmith nowadays. There's not a line that has both stops. So that ticket doesn't make sense.

                            I think what is being called 'Charing Cross' at the inquest is was what is now called Embankment. The best stop on the South Eastern line for Druitt to reach KBW would have been Cannon Street. So, assuming Druitt started his last trip from Blackheath, he must have blown past his usual stop, and stepped off the train at Charing Cross (Embankment) and then transferred to a train that went to Hammersmith. Which would suggest that he had no desire to make one final curtain call at chambers.

                            On the other hand, he could have simply walked to the Embankment from KBW and bought the ticket to Hammersmith.

                            So it doesn't really tell us a damned thing. But the suicide note was supposedly left at Blackheath, so it seems strange that he would go to KBW and tidy up his desk before plunging in the Thames in the middle of the winter.
                            What I find strange Roger is that if the note was found at the school then it was found around a fortnight after Monty’s sacking? Then again I suppose that Valentine might have been waiting for Monty to collect his stuff (or send someone to collect it?) With something so serious though (whatever it was) I’d have thought Valentine would have wanted everything of Monty’s gone immediately?
                            Regards

                            Herlock




                            “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
                            “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
                            “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
                            “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
                            “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                              No one knows Abby. Jonathan Hainsworth believes that Monty might have confessed to his cousin The Reverend Charles Druitt who in turn told a fellow vicar, and his best friend, The Reverend Arthur Du Boulay-Hill. A letter was sent to The Daily Mail stating that a vicar knew the identity of JTR. The story was titled The Whitechurch Murders which seems strange. Charles Druitt’s parish was also known as Whitechurch.

                              Jon Hainsworth also suggests that the woman mentioned in the Crawford Letter might have been Isabella Druitt. There’s no proof of this of course but in a letter to a family member in November she tells of visiting Cavendish Square which is where Crawford lived.

                              It might have been his brother William of course. Druitt had stayed with him overnight in Bournemouth at the end of October.

                              Then of course there’s Colonel Vivian Majendie who was one of Mac’s best friends. He was related to the Druitt’s by marriage so he might have heard from the family and then told Macnaghten.

                              So basically there are candidates Abby but no proof against any. Someone told Macnaghten though. It wasnt me.
                              thans herlock.

                              the way mac worded it dosnt sound like he heard from any direct family member.

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